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An Introduction To PiYo
Thursday, 04 January 2018

PiYo - what is it, how can it benefit you and what should you look out for - we take a look below.


What Exactly Is PiYo?

As you might guess from its name, PiYo combines Pilates and yoga. It is also inspired by martial arts as well as some types of dance. Created by Beachbody's Chalene Johnson, this workout comes as a DVD set that is designed to challenge your body and help you get in shape.
The Advantages Of PiYo
One of the first things that I noticed when I started doing PiYo is that it differs from yoga in that you are always on the move. Staying completely still while you hold yoga poses can be challenging. With PiYo, on the other hand, you can still improve your strength and flexibility through yoga poses - the primary difference is that you don't have to stay in the same posture for a long period of time. Instead, you follow a choreographed series of movements that stretch and strengthen the body. This helps keep it from getting boring. It also adds a dance-like element to the workout that makes it more enjoyable.
Another benefit of this workout is that there are modifications available for all of the exercises. This is great when you are first starting out with a workout. It gives you a chance to master the moves and build the muscles that you need before moving on to more advanced moves. That way, you don't feel like you are getting left behind by the workout or like it is too difficult. With this video, one of the participants performs slightly easier variations of all of the moves. You can follow along with her if you can't keep up with the more advanced techniques right out of the gate.
Finally, Chalene is one of the best fitness instructors out there. She does a great job of keeping you motivated and teaching you how to strengthen your body.

Disadvantages Of PiYo
One of the first things that I noticed about PiYo is that the workouts are extremely short - especially during the early part of the program. For some people, that may seem like a plus since you don't have to spend as long working out. For me, personally, however, I felt like they weren't quite long enough. Short workouts are great if you are doing interval training. For these strength and flexibility building workouts, however, it seems like they could have been a bit longer.
Another drawback for me personally is that the workouts didn't incorporate as much cardio as I like. Some of the workouts including Buns and Sweat Intervals, Sweat, and Drench do center around cardio. The upper and lower body workouts and the core workout, however, definitely don't provide much of a cardiovascular workout. If you want to read more about it then try
A Closer Look At The Exercises
PiYo comes with the following workouts:
Upper Body: Coming in at about 20 minutes, this workout is designed to strengthen the upper body and the core. It accomplishes this through a variety of traditional exercises ranging from push-ups to planks.
Lower Body: this workout, which again clocks in at about 20 minutes long, has more of a traditional yoga feel than the upper body workout. For instance, it incorporates a Warrior Series and a series that is designed to improve your balance. It also focuses on the legs with both low and high lunges. Some of my favorite moves from the workout were the crouching crow and the three-point. My only complaint about this workout is that it felt like it was way too short. I definitely could have done more.
Sweat: This aptly named workout really does leave you sweaty. It is longer than some of the other workouts, coming in at about 35 minutes. It starts with a section called Heat, which uses sun salutations in combination with other exercises to get your heart rate up. Next, the focus shifts to the lower body, using skaters, lunges, and other exercises to build strength and balance. It then moves on to the core, strengthening your midsection with a variety of different plank exercises. There are also push-ups to build your upper body. Finally, it ends with a section called Power that uses traditional exercises like burpees and squats. I felt like this workout was great. It is long enough and challenging enough to get your blood pumping - especially if you add a little bit of extra cardio when you are through.
Drench: The longest of the workouts, Drench comes in at about 48 minutes. Like Sweat, it starts with sun salutations, push-ups, and other moves to warm up your body. It then moves on to lunges and skaters. Next up is the core, which relies on plank and other exercises to build strength. The Power section then uses a combination of squats, lunges, and burpees to give you a great workout. Finally, it all winds down with a stretching section. This provides a tremendous workout that will definitely leave you sweaty.
Buns: As you might guess, this workout targets your backside. At 28 minutes long, it was one of my favorite workouts. The program starts with the Heat series to warm up your body. Then, it moves on to focus solely on your lower body. It uses sumo burpees, squats, and other lower body exercises to get your heart pumping and to build your leg muscles. I totally recommend this workout for your lower body.
Strength Intervals: This is another workout that I really loved. Although it is only 22 minutes long, it includes a lot of cardio that really gets your heart rate up. Like the other workouts, it starts with Heat then moves on to your lower body and core. The primary difference is that it uses cardio intervals to really kick your body into high gear.
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